No literal connection: images of mass commodification, US militarism, and the oil industry in The Big Lebowski

Martin-Jones, D. (2006) No literal connection: images of mass commodification, US militarism, and the oil industry in The Big Lebowski. In: Bohm, S., Jones, C., Land, C. and Paterson, M. (eds.) Against Automobility. Series: Sociological review monographs. Blackwell: Oxford, UK, pp. 133-149. ISBN 9781405152709

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Abstract

This chapter examines the political subtext of The Big Lebowski. This subtext critiques the growth of car culture in twentieth century America, and the nation’s resultant involvement in overseas wars for oil. The chapter explores the various formal and narrative elements which are used to construct the subtext, piecing it together from its often oblique references to the changing face of postwar America, its urban geography, its economy, and its ideology. In particular it focuses on the way that US foreign policy is determined by Fordism, the automobile, and the need for oil, as it is represented in the film. Thus the film is examined as a work of national cinema that engages with the reasons behind the first Persian Gulf War. With the rapid developments that have taken place in the Persian Gulf since 9/11, this subtext has become much easier to spot than it was previously. This fact however, does not diminish the importance of understanding its construction.

Item Type:Book Sections
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Martin-Jones, Professor David
Authors: Martin-Jones, D.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Publisher:Blackwell
ISBN:9781405152709
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